Saturday, July 30, 2005

Serpentine Styles

The Sunday Styles section of The Times has a little piece on...well...I'm not sure really. Is it about assistant tell-all books? The world travels of Kate White, editor in chief of Cosmo? Her fascination with snakes? For a one-page article, it sure takes an awfully long time to get to the "wink-wink" point. I did manage to glean one interesting tidbit, however: the new novel by Lauren Weisberger—she of The Devil Wears Prada infamy—will be called Everyone Worth Knowing. Should be interesting to see what happens with that...
The Stylist Did It (NY Times)

Friday, July 29, 2005

Chillin' with Myrna Blyth

A few people have emailed asking me to post The New York Sun piece that ran yesterday. (The Sun, lovely paper that it is, is one of those unfortunate cases where a registration is required to access online articles. Bad move, guys! The internet is supposed to be free.) And for those of you unaware of this very interesting tidbit, the woman who interviewed me, Myrna Blyth, was the editor-in-chief of Ladies' Home Journal for many, many years...

BY MYRNA BLYTH
July 27, 2005

Secrets of The Beauty Industry Exposed!
Publishing

Women's magazines, and those who run them, take themselves very seriously. And, as Nadine Haobsh has discovered, can sometimes have absolutely no sense of humor.

Last week, Ms. Haobsh was an obscure associate beauty editor at Ladies' Home Journal, a magazine I once edited, pleased with the opportunity to write the monthly makeover page. The pert 24-year-old Barnard graduate had just accepted a job offer to be beauty editor at Seventeen. But she had also been producing, for the last few months, a witty anonymous blog she called Jolie in NYC.

The site became a must-read for others who toiled in the beauty departments of women's magazines and the beauty publicists who entertain these editors and their assistants at lavish press events. Then, last week, a mass e-mail from a publicist disclosed that Ms. Haobsh was Jolie in NYC. Ms. Haobsh, who had already accepted the job offer at Seventeen, gave two weeks notice to the Journal. Her bosses told her to clean out her desk that day.

"When I told the person at Seventeen who offered me the new job about the blog and what had happened, she said, 'Wow, that's cool.'" But Hearst, Seventeen's parent company, did not feel the same way. Hearst's human resources department rescinded the offer.

So just what was it that bothered the powers that be so much? "The blog, at first, was mostly celebrity gossip. My opinion about Tom and Katie, stuff like that. I did it in the evening and only during lunch hour at work. And I would e-mail it to friends and they would e-mail to friends," Ms. Haobsh told me. "Really, I only did a few postings about the beauty industry. I really love the beauty industry." Still, the inside dish about that cat-eat-cat world made the blog take off, garnering up to 50,000 hits a day.

On her blog, Ms. Haobsh said she was just telling some truths that insiders all know but are rarely publicly revealed. For example, about the many gifts from beauty companies her boss receives daily, she wrote: "[She] regularly gets Marc Jacobs wallets and coats, plane ticket vouchers, iPods, overnight stays at the Mandarin Oriental, yearlong gym memberships and, of course, all the free highlights and haircuts your poor, dyed, straightened and styled hair can stand."

She also lectured beauty publicists and dissed her editorial colleagues for being too cheap to spend a dollar at a sale of deeply discounted beauty products, even when the money went to charity. "I didn't name names and I was just writing what everyone knows," she said. "But I realize now I should have told my bosses about the blog. That was my mistake."

To keep up her spirits, Jolie in NYC has kept right on blogging and this week revealed yet another dirty little secret: Beauty editors rarely wear makeup. As she notes: "Fashion editors wear clothes, do they not? Chefs eat. I can only assume that music writers do actually listen to music. And yet, beauty editors soldier on, eye shadow and foundation free." So true.

Personally, I'm hoping Ms. Haobsh will get gutsy enough to reveal the deepest, darkest secret of all: that the makeup that the model is wearing for a cover picture is rarely the makeup that is credited in the magazine. Makeup artists use whatever they want, usually little-known brands that do not have advertising budgets, then the beauty editor gives credit to the magazine's biggest advertisers.

But maybe she won't get the chance. "I may never work in the beauty industry again," she said. "And that makes me sad." But her spirits should be lightened by the publicity she has garnered this week. She has meetings with four top literary agents, including agents from ICM and William Morris. "I have been working on a novel. I already have about 150 pages," she said. And, yes, the heroine is a young woman who comes to New York to work in the beauty industry.

In the past, being exposed as a blogger has turned out to be a good career move. Last year another magazine staffer, Jill Sieracki, an editorial assistant at Good Housekeeping, sent in a rant complaining about her boss to Mediabistro.com. A brief excerpt: "I'm half your age, make a third of your salary, and after babysitting you for over a year, could do your job and still have time for a manicure." She was promptly fired by Hearst and worried she would never work again. But she soon got a job as an associate editor at Playgirl, moved up quickly to managing editor, and, a couple of months ago, became editor in chief. Her first issue as editor in chief of Playgirl is on the newsstands right now.

I'd like to announce...

...that Jolie has just topped 100,000 hits!

Six Degress of Lipgloss

Since Kim Van-Dang announced a few days ago that she's leaving InStyle to begin her own consulting firm—too...much...movement!—I think it's high time for a recap of the beauty musical chairs (in no particular order, since I really don't feel like being that clever):

Kerry Diamond left Harper's Bazaar for Lancome...Alexandra Parnass left Shop ETC for Harper's Bazaar...Amy Keller left Allure for Shop ETC...Jolene Edgar left Oprah for Allure...Jenny Bailly left Allure for Oprah...Natasha Singer left W for The New York Times...Charlotte Rudge left Nylon to freelance...Tia Williams left Teen People to work on her next book...Lori Bergamotto left Lucky to live la vita bella, then went to Teen People...Jodi Buffalo left Shape for Real Simple...Robin Immerman left Seventeen for Shape...Nadine Haobsh (that's me!) left Ladies' Home Journal for Seventeen—except that didn't quite work out...and that's as far as my confused brain can take it. I can't even imagine how mixed up the poor PR people must be.

Atoosa-mania!

My maybe-in-another-lifetime-woulda-been-boss has been all over the internet this week due to rumors that she's leaving Seventeen magazine for Jane. Now, I have no insider scoop on this—yes, I know, 'tis hard to believe that Atoosa's not leaving messages on my voicemail updating me on the whole deal—but I am very intrigued to see what happens. As Jossip and Fashion Week Daily, among others, have been reporting, Atoosa would be perfect for Jane. Not only are they both all about the readers, but they each created magazines as fetuses, too. It's a natural progression.

Fall TV Scoop

My favorite TV maven, Kristin from E! Online, is giving me a heart attack this morning. While talking about Alias, she lets slip that "A main, integral character" who we will be "devestated" over is "leaving by choice, despite whatever salacious spin these mags may put on this person's exit." Hmm, I wonder who that could be? Damn you, Jennifer Garner, you dimpled man-eater!

In happier news, Veronica Mars is on tonight on CBS at 8pm. They're showing two episodes back-to-back (including the pilot), so if you haven't yet sampled the pleasures of LoVe, watch it, tivo it—whatever you have to do. Trust me: this show is fantastic.
Watch With Kristin (E!Online)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

My Current Top Ten

The products I'm obsessing over at the moment:

1) J.F. Lazartigue Deep Cleaning Shampoo With Fruit Acids: excellent for "clogged scalps" (who knew there was such a thing?) like mine, plus smells good in a grandmotherly way
2) IS Clinical Active Serum and Pro-Heal Serum: Pro-Heal for day (full of next-big-thing antioxidants like olive-leaf extract); Active (with all-important glycolic acid) for night
3) Regis Olive Oil Hair Masque: I have an intensive conditioner obsession, and not only does this stuff leave my hair silky, but it smells fantastic and slightly fruity
4) Patricia Wexler M.D. Exfoliating Glycolic Peel System: So we've already established that I love things with glycolic acid, and these pads just seem better than a lot of the other, similar versions. My skin doesn't get too red from using them, but feels super-soft and looks clear the next day
5) Bare Escentuals foundation and Clear Radiance: Do I even need to go there? I'm obsessed. Get on it
6) OC 8: Ditto. This stuff zaps up oil all-day long; it's amazing
7) Clean and Clear Invisible Shine Control Powder: I borrowed this stuff from my roommate to use when doing TV appearances. (Cue pretentious laughter.) In conjunction with the OC8, it makes my skin a force to be reckoned with—for use only on special occasions. (I'm still waiting for my roommate to notice it's gone. Once she does, I will sadly be forced to buy my own.)
8) Appearex vitamins: They claim to make your hair and nails grow, and after taking these for about three months, I've never gone in for so many trims and manicures in my life. My hairguy (the incomparable Ted Gibson) even demanded to know what I was using so he could recommend it to other clients
9) NARS Orgasm: Still the best blush around
10) Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder: If you are lazy in the slightest, this stuff—which makes it possible to go a few days between shampoos—will change your life

People magazine loves me!

So much so that they've stuffed my article (that's right, kids! People!) way back on page 107 of the latest issue. (This would be the "Jude Law Can't Keep It In His Pants" issue. Stupid pretty boy.) Um, so, the back of the magazine is where the cool kids go, right? For the really important stories, like bloggers who sort of got fired but not really? Yeah, that's what I thought, too.

Vive la Solano

Like Scarlett Johansson's sex life, hair trends are confusing to keep up with: It's all about straight! Cool people wear it wavy! Volume, volume, volume! Everybody has a weave! It's exhausting. Since I have wavy, slightly damaged hair that turns frizzy if I even look at water, I naturally want it as straight as possible, no matter what Allure says is hot.

My favorite tool—one of the items I might actually cry over if it were taken away from me—is the Solano Sapphire straightener. It's a little pricey (somewhere around $150, I believe) but transforms even coarse, unruly straw into hair that's sleek and silky. The Solano came through yesterday during the two-minute monsoon, leaving my hair stick straight (with the help of a little Phytodefrisant and Fekkai Glossing Cream) well into the evening, despite all the style-killing moisture in the air. Beware if you have severly damaged or processed hair, though—I learned the hard way last summer that hair that's highlighted into oblivion doesn't like being scorched. So not pretty.

Silicone+hormones=fun!

Can somebody please explain to me what is going on with Britney Spears' breasts? Are they planning on giving birth, too?


Image courtesy of People

Jessica Simpson is completely plastic fabulous!

The latest issue of In Touch features Jessica Simpson on the cover, promising to get to the bottom of the plastic surgery rumors that have been surrounding her for quite a while. The accompaning article is actually pretty good, featuring tons of those grainy, super-close, side-by-side shots that you can't help but love. But every single photo—some of which, pretty conclusively in my mind, show that she is absolutely made of wax—features a little blurb of text underneath quoting some plastic surgeon who says, essentially, "Well, she may have, or she may not have. You know, maybe. Then again, maybe not." What I find strange is that not once in the entire piece is there a mention of the fact that, right around the release of her album Irresistible—which is precisely when Jessica went from okay to hot—Jessica's formerly squinty eyes suddenly grew round as saucers. Unless she is surprised all the time, I think there's a little more to these rumors than meets the (lifted) eye.

Picture courtesy of Amazon


Picture courtesy of Good Plastic Surgery

Back to Business

Okay, it's been a fantastic ride and I'm still catching my breath (and working on the book, of course!), but I'm going to recommence posting on my beloved celebrities—incorporating Nick and Jessica Breakup Watch? Anybody?—in addition to continuing my beauty commentary. Luckily, a friend downloaded all of Jolie in NYC 1.0 before I was strongarmed into taking it down, so I'll be putting up all of those old posts very soon, too. Jolie lives!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

So professional, I can't even handle it

In case you're simply dying to check out my headshots, I have a real website now: nadinehaobsh.com. Holla for (semi) legitimacy!

Page Six, You're Making Me Blush!

I woke up this morning to find myself on Page Six again—very surreal. I guess I can let the cat out of the bag: I signed with the William Morris Agency, and will be finally (finally!) working to turn the beauty book I've been plugging away at into a reality. As you can imagine, our little Jolie is tickled pink. This morning also marked my reemergence back into the world of previewing beauty products. Benefit (one of my favorites—currently obsessed with their lipgloss The Gloss, in corsage) has readded me to their mailing list, so I awoke to find a smattering of new products from them. Can't wait to try, and I'll get back to you with my reviews asap!
Comeback Trail (Page Six)

And if you feel like reading an interview I gave a couple of days ago, it's available in today's New York Sun: Secrets of the Beauty Industry Exposed! (Sounds salacious, doesn't it?)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Swag Happy

One of the most unexpected things about the past couple of days has been all of the support I've received from people within the beauty community. Far from shunning me as a pariah, I've received countless emails from editors and publicists, letting me know that they're behind me, that they love the blog, that they know I'll land on my feet and—most importantly—that they're there with tons of products should my beauty closet run dry! Thanks, guys—your kind words mean more to me than you'll ever know.

Luckily, as far as beauty products go, I'm not in danger of running out anytime soon. My bedroom looks like a strange cross between the beauty level at Henri Bendel, a beach party, and a hurricane. I've spoken in the past about the various swag and tie-ins editors receive with new products, and the summer months mean loads-upon-loads of beach paraphernalia: colorful beach towels, Rafe straw bags, LL Bean totes, Malia Mills flip flops, Juice Couture terry cloth robes, and cowboy hats. Since I only had a few hours to pack up my desk upon leaving my job, I was forced to stuff everything haphazardly into bags—and trust me, a beauty editor has a lot of bags. My place in New York is the size of an average city apartment (read: I can almost touch both walls by standing in the middle of my bedroom and extending my arms), and so my poor room is now stuffed to the brim with all the bizarre beach goodies, plus several extra bags containing all of my beauty products I'd stored at work. A quick glance at the "hair products" bag reveals that I will be using up all of my excess shampoo until about 2007.

Believe it or not, I'll miss the beauty products more than the swag. Free purses and gift certificates to chic restaurants are always welcome, but I got into this industry because of my adoration for beauty—nothing makes me happier than a new jar of Bare Escentuals (Fair 1.2, if you're reading, Leslie!) or a preview sniff of the latest Calvin Klein fragrance. Going forward, I'll be working like a busy little bee on my book—I had some great meetings with agents today and I'm very excited about it all—but I also want to continue writing about beauty on this blog, and perhaps parlay my expertise into other projects. The outpouring of love for the blog has been overwhelming but gratifying, and I've realized that there's a niche for honest and straightforward dishing on products. Let's talk.

A Friend (of a Friend) in Need

You've undoubtedly heard about Shari Kurzrok, the publicist who needs a new liver. My friend at Ogilvy, who actually works for Shari, asked me to put this up, just in case any of you are in the dark.

LOCAL PR AGENCIES ASK FOR HELP TO SAVE LIFE OF COLLEAGUE IN DIRE NEED OF COMPLETE LIVER TRANSPLANT

31-Year-Old Shari Kurzrok Will Die Unless She Receives Complete Liver Within Days

NEW YORK (July 20, 2005) – Shari Kurzrok is two months away from her wedding. The 31-year-old PR executive recently spearheaded the American Red Cross’ largest-ever blood donor campaign. Today, she is fighting for her life. Her doctors say she will not live if she doesn’t receive a complete liver transplant within days, and her colleagues in the PR industry are urgently mobilizing to help her.

“I just pray that what Shari has loved to do for a living comes back to help her,” says her fiancée Robby Schnall, 35, a marketing executive at Cole Haan. Their wedding is planned for October 15 at Woodbury Jewish Center in Long Island.

Shari’s sudden illness has taken her family, friends and doctors by surprise. She was admitted to New York University Medical Center last weekend, and within 24 hours she was told she needed a liver transplant to save her life. Her illness is still unexplained.

Kym White, managing director of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, says the news has shaken Shari’s colleagues and friends, as well as the extended communications industry. All are quickly rallying to spread the word through PR and advertising in order to draw attention to Shari’s plight. “Shari is a phenomenal friend and colleague, and it is hard to imagine that someone who only recently led the largest-ever blood donor initiative for the American Red Cross with such energy and enthusiasm, is now in vital need of a liver donation.”

Shari led the 345-city Save-a-Life-Tour, which featured two convoys that traveled across the country to raise awareness about the importance of regular blood donation and to attract new donors including a younger and more ethnically diverse demographic. The campaign collected more than 3.2 million pints of blood and registered more than 38,000 new potential donors. Kamenna Lee, Director, Sales & Marketing for the American Red Cross, said, "Shari poured her heart, soul and life into one of our largest initiatives and truly helped save lives."

Now Shari’s family and friends hope that just one person can help save Shari’s life. Shari is a native of Great Neck, Long Island, and the daughter of Gloria and Mort Kurzrok. Her father says, “This is a race against time. We want to draw attention not only to Shari’s cause, but also to the urgent, ongoing need that challenge families like us every day.”

Potential donors must be Type A or Type O blood. A directed donation is when a donor family opts to donate an organ directly to a specific individual. Donor families often make the decision to donate organs during times of grief and shock; however, organ donation is a chance for something positive to come out of a tragedy. Anyone wanting to help Shari with a complete liver transplant referral should call: 877-223-3386 or email: liverforalife@yahoo.com

For more information go to http://helpshari.typepad.com/

True Beauty Comes From Within...Unless You Apply It With a Brush

One of the oddest things about working in beauty is that many editors don't wear makeup. I've commented on this before, yet the answer to this mystery remains elusive. Fashion editors wear clothes, do they not? Chefs eat. I can only assume that music writers do actually listen to music. And yet, beauty editors soldier on, eyeshadow and foundation-free. If pressed, some makeup-phobes will admit to slapping on a coat of mascara in the morning, and maybe a tiny bit of colorless lipgloss. But blush? Eyeliner? Powder? No, no, no!

What do they have that I do not? Flawless, even-toned, creamy-yet-naturally-golden skin? Probably. Perfectly rosy lips and cheeks? Perhaps. Eyes blessed with enough natural shadow and definition that skipping the liner doesn't result in a look best described as "hospital refugee"? Most definitely. And yet, I still don't really get it. Why strive for just okay, when with a little creative shadowing and NARS Orgasm you can become fabulous? I love my morning mirror time; it's when I get to decide how I'll present myself to the world that day. (Glam? Punk? Schoolgirl? I usually just pick "Well-Rested", but at least makeup gives me the option to be glam, or punk, or schoolgirl.) It's like art, minus the pretention!

I'm no Tammy-Faye, but I do like making the most of what I have. And anything that helps conceal my albino eyelashes and rudolph nose is alright with me.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

New Beginnings

It would be an understatement to say that this was the weirdest week of my life. On Tuesday morning, I had a job I loved, a nice salary and was living in blissful oblivion. Flash forward to today, and I've given interviews to the New York Post, Fox 5 News and CNN (are you kidding me??), have a very, very big interview set for tomorrow (until it actually happens, my lips are zipped), have meetings this coming week with multiple book agents and—oh, yeah, that—am quickly approaching the poverty mark. 24/7 ramen: can't wait!

I've been running on adrenaline, since sleep and food have been hard to come by these last couple of days. More than once I caught my reflection in the window facing my computer table—responding to emails as furiously as I could while cradling my landline phone on my left shoulder and listening to the cell phone earpiece in my right ear—and thought, "You look like such a pretentious fool right now." But while the iron is hot, I'm a-strikin', baby.

Now...bed. Maybe tomorrow I'll finally have time to eat, too.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Jolie Unmasked

As you may have read in a little paper called the New York Post, I've been outed: my name is Nadine Haobsh, and I was a beauty editor for one of the most popular magazines in the country. I say "was" because there is a predictable end to this story: I came clean to my bosses about my blog—which very, very unfortunately coincided with a job offer from another top magazine—and gave my two weeks notice, which was declined. As luck would have it, once the Post story broke, my new magazine decided to rescind the offer. And that's the end of that chapter.

It's been a tough couple of days, mostly because I let down a lot of people who I care about and respect. To all you would-be bloggers out there: even if you truly are "just being funny" or "don't really mean it", think before you write. And definitely don't write about your industry: things will absolutely be taken out of context or interpreted incorrectly, and that's just not fun for anybody.

What's next for me? I have some exciting projects on the horizon, and am looking forward to figuring out what's best for me and what the future holds. Because I've been inundated with requests to renew the site—you love your Jolie, you really love her!—I've uploaded some of the beauty posts I was able to find on the internet. I'm sure there are more out there, but I'm looking forward right now, not back.

More to come soon—stay beautiful!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hey Jude, Don't make it bad worse

Jude, Jude, Jude. It's taken me all day to collect my thoughts about what you did to poor Sienna. The nanny? I thought you were smarter than that. Surely you've learned that shagging nannies only results in tears and career-dampening book deals. You live in England, the capital of tearful nanny-shagging career-dampening book deals, for the love of Jesus! And did you learn nothing from your role as Alfie? Cheating is bad. People get hurt. You're really pretty. Oh, wait, that's not what I meant...I must have been blinded by the lethal one-two punch of your golden tan and pearly whites. And your Adonis-like body. And those baby blues, deep enough to swim in—oh, uh, I mean, don't cheat on your fiancée anymore or we'll stop seeing your movies. Probably. Well, maybe.

Sephora, Mon Amour

Sephora has opened their new Union Square location, finally wising up to the fact that lazy 14th street shoppers like myself don't want to walk all the way over to Fifth Avenue just to touch up their eyeliner before a big date. (Those avenue blocks—they're killers.) I spent half an hour browsing the new store today, playing with the makeup, spritzing on the perfume (my new must-haves: Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil and Lanvin Eclat d'Arpege) and sizing up the skincare lines (currently reinfatuated with Lancome. And what has become of Darphin, an old favorite?). The wonderful thing about Sephora for somebody like me is the rare opportunity to see an entire line laid out—no press releases, no selective mailings from PR people, but simply row after row of blushes and gloss, moisturizers and cleansers. It also makes me realize that, no matter how much time I devote to it, I will never be able to try all of the beauty products in the world. I find this exciting: there will always be new products and new innovations. And, alas, my bathroom cabinets will never be tidy.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Haven't I always said all celebrities are crazy?

New York magazine agrees with me, since this week's cover article is entitled: "Celebrity Psychos: The Summer They All Went Mad." However, if you're thinking, "Sounds like fun! Let's crack this bad boy open!", you'd be dead wrong. After about 2,000 words of sentences like,
"Then it seems the craziness might be happening because the increase in watching is the very thing creating the craziness. Then it seems that the beginning, middle, and end of the celebrity life story is finding a way to get people to keep watching and loving the star forever, so at a time when they are more watched and more loved than at any other point in history, they should not be going so crazy.",

I was ready to poke out my own eyes. Rest assured that the article gets much, much more boring before Vanessa Grigoriadis sputters to a close. Was this piece even edited?
Celebrity Psychos (New York)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Editors: Are We the Enemy?

I had a very eye-opening conversation tonight with one of my best beauty publicist friends where she let loose on the evil temperments of various beauty editors. We can be a really mean bunch! A few days ago, I posted some friendly tips for beauty publicists to live by, and I was surprised at the outpouring of emotion I received explaining what a demanding industry it is. My various PR internships in college opened my eyes to its choppy waters, but the things I learned tonight—the slave-driver directors, the meticulously kept lists of all product called in, the berating for tentative placements lost—made me vow to 1) answer my phone at least five times a day...well, at least three times a day...rather than letting it automatically go to voicemail, 2) call back PR people if I hear that slightly hysterical edge in their voice suggesting that their boss will flog them senseless if I don't let them know the status of a story immediately, and 3) never again call in product for pretend stories that don't actually exist because I really just want to give that new perfume to my mom. (I've been living and dying by this last rule for the past week, and I'm amazed at how generous PR people can be when I'm—gasp!—honest.)

Man, I would not trade jobs with you publicists for the world. Snaps.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Nick and Jessica No More?

A gossipy email is making the rounds saying that Johnny Knoxville and Jessica Simpson are planning on going public with their torrid affair in a PR flurry orchestrated by Joe Simpson. Quoth the email, "Jessica Simpson and Johnny Knoxville are going public. Johnny is leaving his wife, Simpson is filing for divorce - they are shopping the exclusive story to the weeklies under Joe Simpson's direction. My PR instinct tells me the news will break in next week's weeklies to fuel some fire before the July 28th Dukes premiere." Hate to be the crazy kid humming in the corner with her fingers in her ears—since nobody thinks the mega-brand that is "Nick and Jessica" is a bigger sham than me—but I don't think this is true. Why does Johnny need a divorce? He's married and has a child, and that still hasn't stopped him from getting busy with Jessica, Kate Moss, Bridget Hall, and many others. Ditto for Jess, who rakes in big bucks with the whole ditzy housewife thing, but still gets to have her cake eaten, too. Unless...wait. You mean...because Johnny and Jessica might actually be in love? That's just gross.

Where's my Gawker blog, Nick?

Gridskipper's own Chris Mohney (known to readers of this blog as the guy who I erroneously declared had been forced to stop blogging on Gawkerist) writes a thrilling article for Mediabistro describing his single-minded pursuit of blogger nirvana: working for Gawker Media. Not only did Chris refuse (refuse!) to take no for an answer from Nick Denton, but he toiled away for years in relative obscurity before finally—oh, wait, no, he didn't. He got hired at Gridskipper three weeks after he started Gawkerist. Lucky bastard.
Do Not Try This At Home: One Man's Harrowing (and Slightly Ironic) Attempt to Get a Media Gig (Mediabistro)

How to be Fabulous

Wondering how to break into fashion or media and live a life of glamour? Easy as pie!

1) Be insanely connected, discreetly wealthy, or pretty-in-a-Ralph Lauren-kind-of-way—and always super slim. If possible, live in East Hampton or date Jerry Seinfeld.
2) Use your connections, money or looks to get an internship fetching coffee for a "name."
3) Work your skinny little ass off for five years. Annihilate any bitches who stand in your way.
4) Give earnest and faintly amusing quotes to media gossip sheet.

Congrats—you're officially fabulous!
What Was Your First Internship? (The Daily)
Internships, Part 2 (The Daily)

Slutty Scarlett's at it again

Because Scarlett Johansson apparently feels her breasts are a gift that must be shared with the world, she tried to convince Michael Bay, the director of her forthcoming movie, The Island, to let her free them from the confines of her "cheap" bra during a love scene. Michael shot her down, explaining that the movie's PG-13, and then adding, "Plus, everybody in Hollywood's seen them anyway." (You know that's totally what he was thinking.)
Johansson: Nudity yes, bra no (CNN)

The Cult of Jergens Natural Glow

Many of my friends have asked for my help in securing bottles of the coveted self-tanner/moisturizer Jergens Natural Glow, but even my powers only extend so far (i.e. what little I get, I am keeping for myself.) Gutted that it's sold out seemingly everywhere? Check out Olay Quench Radiance Reviver Body Lotion or Clarins Radiance Plus Self-Tanning Body Lotion. Like Jergens, both moisturize your body while giving only a hint of color. Hey, I sound just like a press release! (Confession: haven't actually purchased a beauty product—razors, deodorant, toothpaste, nothing—from the drugstore in years, instead relying on my trusty beauty closet, so not entirely sure if the Clarins is yet available or if the Olay is sold out, too.) I think the Olay actually smells better than the Jergens and the Clarins fades better, with less splotchiness—should you be a lazy bastard like myself who can barely run a brush through her locks daily, let alone consistently moisturize to avoid that fifth-day molting-on-the-tummy look. (What, is that just me?)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pink is the New Black

Today, in a fit of whimsy, it struck me: everything I own is pink. I have a pink Marc Jacobs wallet, three pink purses, three pairs of pink shoes, a pink dress, two pink skirts, a pink Lacoste shirt, endless pink tank tops, a pink iPod...you get the point. Why is this at all noteworthy? Because nearly every single one of these things was given to me. (Dude, I don't buy pink.) In fact, I actually hate pink. But I love getting free things, and I long ago abandoned any pretense of being too cool to wear gifted swag. This is probably because gifted stuff=I don't have to go shopping=a happy Jolie.

The real problem with having all of this stuff you received as gifts is that everybody else has it, too. Try holding on to your pride when you walk into an event to find seven other girls sporting the exact same purse. Most beauty editors adhere to an unbreakable rule: do not wear or carry to an event anything you have been gifted. (Sage advice, but easier said than done, since half the time I end up forgetting it was a gift.) My only salvation: a Very Expensive Bag that I bought years ago as a "Happy Graduation to Me" present. I pull it out on event days, wear it with pride, and silently smirk at the other poor girls who accidentally brought the gift bag. I hope that doesn't make me an asshole.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The beauty editor conundrum

The beauty editor conundrum

As a beauty editor, in addition to the aforementioned blowouts and manicures and pedicures (for research, of course), you also get boatloads of products thrown at you. To the uninitiated, magic little bags arriving at your office everyday stuffed with conditioner and moisturizer and lip gloss might seem like the coolest thing in the world. But after only a few months, it gets really, really old. (I promise.) I still love getting to try the newest beauty products before anybody else, but once you've sampled literally everything on the market, you can't help but play favorites. And slowly but surely, you resent having to put aside your beloved-and-oh-so-efficacious creams to test the new blah, or the new whatever, or the new I don't really care.

Okay, sure, I'll forgo the Phytodefrisant for a morning to see if this new anti-frizz gel works as well. Nope? Not as good? Tomorrow, back to my Phyto. (Or—let's be real—in four days. You don't think I actually wash my hair everyday, do you?) But when it comes to moisturizers and serums and cleansers, that's when I dig my heels in. The whole idea of a skincare regimen is to get your skin into a therapeutic routine, and give the products enough time to really start working. But how can you give a routine a fighting chance when you have fifteen other serums and tonics and potions lined up on your bathroom sink, begging, "Pick me! Try me! Write about me!"?

You could just stick to the same old routine, of course, forgoing research in the name of a pretty complexion. You could spend every day of every year using a different product, until your skin is raw and confused—but you're, like, a total expert. Or you could perform the insane science project (a little of the old favorite, a little of the new, a little more of the new) that is my daily skincare experience, applying layer after layer of various product in a mad desire to try them all until your poor skin is beaten into submission—yet still glowing!

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

Britney, Interrupted

Britney, my darling, was I too quick to judge you? My friend R. emails me the following:

"I thought the arrow was referring to her pregnancy, an allusion to her man-trapping abilities and her excuse to eat and do whatever she wants in the name of raging hormones. But, then again, it is Britney, and nothing is too obscene or inappropriate, so you may be right."

Britney Federline: the rorschach inkblot test of our time?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

My, Look How She's Grown

When I saw this picture of Britney Spears at the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory premiere with her husband and her mini-me, my first reaction was, "Hey, Britney looks kind of cute! She's glowing!" But before I could feel all nostalgic for the days when Britney just seemed like another sweet little pop tart—as opposed to a walking PSA against class, common sense and shoes—I took a closer look at Britney's shirt. (It reads: "I have the golden ticket.") Why you gotta be like that, Britney? Just as I was beginning to think you were kind of cute again, you had to go and make it all about your vagina. Just, ew.

Random side note: Jamie-Lynn is utterly adorable, but how long do you think she has before she's forced to get a nose and boob job, too? If she lets genetics run its course, we might find out what Britney is supposed to look like. Fun!

Friday, July 08, 2005

British Beauty Must-Haves

I stumbled upon this British list of cult beauty classics while doing (gasp!) actual work, and just had to share. Some products are obsession-worthy in the US, too, like Terax Crema, John Frieda Frizz-Ease and Jo Malone Vitamin E gel, but others (like the Ruby and Millie Lip Gloss and the Marks and Spencer Shavata Brow Perfection kit) I'd actually never heard of. Check it out.
Cult Classics (iVillage UK)

(My personal list of must-haves? Skin French Hair Paste, Phytodefrisant, Essie polish in Mademoiselle, Lancome Flextencils, NARS blush in Orgasm, Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder, Three Custom Color lip gloss in Trae's favorite, Cowshed body wash in Mad Cow and KMS Turnstylr.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Blogs are bad!

Gawker has an intriguing blind item today:

WHAT BLOG, full of catty commentary on her publishing-world coworkers, recently got the junior employee who was writing it fired from a major house?

Seriously, what blog? We know it happened, but we don’t know the where to get our hands on the hot copy. First to give us the right URL is promised a weekend full of Gawky.

For a split second, this freaked the hell of out me. I read it and thought, "Holy crap, is it me??" Then I realized A) that if I've been fired, I'm the last to know, B) that my blog isn't catty (I love beauty!), and C) that I don't work in book publishing, which is the Gawker category it was filed under. Phew! Snaps for keeping your job!
Just Asking (A Blindish Item of Our Own) (Gawker)

--Not that you'd email me before Gawker, but does anybody know who this is, or what house it happened at? (Particularly you, all my book publishing friends?)

The Katie-Bot Speaks

The new W features a totally awkward article with Katie Holmes that includes such deep and meaningful soundbites as: "I've found the man of my dreams," "He's the most incredible man," "I've never met anybody like Tom," "He's the man of my dreams," and "He's my man! He's my man!" Katie gets so riled up that she mistakes herself for a cheerleader, doing splits on the floor and jumping up on down on her chair. (Enough with the chair jumping, you psychos. How many innocent pieces of furniture have to be trampled for you to "prove" that you really, really love each other?) Tom doesn't make an appearance—thank God—but still manages to make it all about him by sending Katie a diamond necklace from Cartier during the interview. Diamonds, household-name status and however many freaking millions she's getting paid for all of this: Katie Holmes is the smartest woman on the face of the planet. (Hey, she gets to hone her acting skills, too!)
Holmes, Sweet Holmes (Style.com)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Everything For a Dollar

For a beauty editor, there are no two more horrific words in the English language than "beauty sale."* If you think a beauty sale means "a fun day where you bring $15 to the office and get $100 worth of beauty loot while chatting with your colleagues and avoiding work," you are dead wrong. In actuality, a beauty sale is a monstrous day of carnage, where otherwise civilized women suddenly morph into growling packs of wolves, greedily dumping entire drawers of products indiscriminately into bags as fast as their little hands can act.

Beauty sales turn normally charitable women into snarling penny pinchers. After an hour or two, if a surplus of products is left, it's common for items to go on sale—maybe 10 items for a dollar. Despite the knowledge that all products are insanely discounted, with profits going to charity, it's embarrassingly common for women to try and bargain you down, arguing, for example, that they should only have to pay 80 cents, since they have only eight makeup items. At our beauty sales, it's gotten so bad that we don't have "last call" anymore—if you don't buy it at "full price" (for a freakin' dollar, people!), we'll either save it for the next sale, or send it straight to a charity.

I, thankfully, have not had to run a beauty sale in many years. I do not think my poor heart—or my somehow still enduring love for humanity—could survive it.

*A quick primer: for those of you not in the know, a beauty sale happens once or twice a year at magazines, when the beauty department rounds up all sorts of products, organizes them in a conference room, and sells everything at a major discount (usually at a dollar) for charity. Mayhem ensues.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Rules for PR people to live by

If you are a public relations person, might I be so kind as to offer one or two words of advice? It'll make everybody happier.

1) Please don't ask permission to send press kits. Just send them.
2) Please don't call and ask to speak with "Shirley" when my name is "Jolie" and I have been the only person at this extention for three years. Shirley hasn't worked here since 2002. Pick up a masthead. They're fairly current.
3) Please don't leave a message asking me to call back to let you know that, yes, I did receive the press release that you randomly sent. If it's really that important to you to verify that I received an unrequested piece of paper, call me back until you reach me.
4) Please tell your bosses to make you stop calling "just to check in". I know you've gotta do it (and I know you'd rather not—I feel your pain!)...but it's still kind of annoying.
5) Please don't call and read something verbatim off a piece of paper. Maybe you're an intern, maybe you're very nervous over the phone, maybe you really are a robot, but at least try to make it sound unrehearsed.

Phew! That wasn't so hard, was it?

My perfume addiction

As my friends know, I am completely addicted to perfume. Despite having done a bathroom purge about six months ago, when I got rid of 10-15 fragrances by giving them away to needy friends, a quick check shows that I still have 25 perfumes on my bathroom vanity. I suppose I could get rid of most of my fragrances, since I only wear four or five on a regular basis, but how can you toss classics like Amarige, Shalimar, J'Adore, Marc Jacobs and Fleurissimo?

I currently rotate between Calvin Klein Eternity Moment, Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue, Narciso Rodriguez for Her, and Miss Dior Cherie, with the occasional Escada Rockin' Rio, Chanel Chance, Givenchy Pi or Stella McCartney thrown in for good measure. But the one fragrance that provokes the most reaction when I wear it is Coco Mademoiselle—my current obsession—which has notes of jasmine, rose, bergamot, orange, vanilla, and patchouli. Fragrance writer Chandler Burr describes it by saying, "It is lovely, flowery, a fresh-faced seventeen-year-old in a summer dress...when you come across someone wearing it, you want to lean closer to them," which is a pretty apt description from my experiences. If you're looking for a gorgeous fragrance to make people say, "You smell delicious—what are you wearing?", Coco Mademoiselle is it.

A Day in the Life, or Jolie Gets Wordy and Earnest

The day-to-day life of a beauty editor is always changing: sometimes I'll be at my desk for eight hours straight, interviewing experts and writing stories, and other times I'll be dashing around the city, running from appointment to appointment. The days filled with appointments are the interesting ones, since you never quite know what to expect.

Appointments held in the office, where public relations people visit you to present their latest beauty products, are usually rather run-of-the-mill, and only take about 15 or 20 minutes, if you're lucky. Of course, depending on who the PR person is, even the most mundane appointment can take a wrong turn, such as the time I sat down with a publicist I wasn't particularly fond of. Apparently, the feeling was mutual, since I commented on her exotic bracelet, and she replied, "Oh, it's a bracelet to ward off the evil eye. I wear it when I'll be around negative people." Hey, thanks!

Completely different from in-office appointments are out-of-office events, thrown by public relations people at clubs, hotels, museums or restaurants, and designed to make a big enough splash that you'll have fun and think, "You know, I think I will write about this completely ordinary and not-at-all innovative beauty product." That's the only possible explanation, since events are getting more and more lavish (think jungle motifs, hot male models acting as waiters, private museum viewings, day trips out-of-state and even cross-country or overseas press trips), when most of the time, an in-office appointment would serve the same purpose, let you ask more questions without worrying about getting the evil eye from other, busier editors, and would probably save the company a lot of money.

In between the appointments and the events are the lunches, which can range from decadent and delightful to painful and pointless. Some of the best food I've ever eaten has been in the company of PR people at chic eateries like Nobu and Per Se, although the average lunch tends to run more toward places like Sushi Samba, Bryant Park Grill and Koi. Sitting down to lunch with a PR person is a crap shoot: sometimes you'll hit it off and chat excitedly about college, "the industry" and various crazy celebrities (Tom Cruise, anybody?), whereas other times you'll be desperately grasping at straws for things to talk about, until you're finally forced to discuss what types of stories you're currently writing. (That's usually the point at which they'll try to convince you that their new anti-wrinkle cream is just perfect! for the oil-free foundation story you're writing.) Luckily, those uncomfortable meetings are few and far between, since PR girls seem to be getting younger and younger (it can't be that I'm getting older!) and are endlessly cheerful and talkative.

It's a very unique industry, but it's thankfully never boring. And at least twice a week I'll think of my banker and lawyer friends chained to their desks and I realize, in a nutshell, that my job rocks.

Friday, July 01, 2005

My latest obsession

I know I can't shut up about Bare Escentuals makeup (truly the best foundation and concealer in existence), but I just discovered another Bare Escentuals product recently, and I'm hooked: Clear Radiance. It's one of those shimmery powders that reflects light, and it has a slightly pinkish tone—which sounds garish and horrible, like something Christina Aguilera might wear, but is actually lovely and pretty—that brightens up the skin and makes everything look gauzy and fuzzy in a great, 1930's-movie-closeup kind of way. My skin's not bad, but definitely not gush-worthy; whenever I use this as the last step in my makeup routine, though, people fall over themselves to ask what I'm using or what my secret is. And, by the way, I promise I'm totally unbiased and aren't secretly working for the company. I just love all their stuff that much.